Deer Creek Trip

Page Type
Trip Report
Arizona, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
May 17, 2007
1639 Hits
73.06% Score
Log in
to vote
Page By:
Created On: Jun 1, 2007
Last Edited On: Jun 3, 2007

The hike down

This is the trip report for the our trip down to deer creek falls in the grand canyon. So we drove down to the grand canyon and parked at monument point to take the old bill hall trail from the rim. We got there at about 2pm and the plan was to get down there by 5 or 6 and go down the slot canyon maybe three times then head back up that night. It turned out that the hike was a little tougher than we had expected. Maybe it didn't help that it was during the heat of the day or that we were carrying 120 meters of rope and canyoneering gear. We also decided we should have packed a lot simpler on other things as well. Like a bivy sack instead of a sleeping bag would have done, instead of bringing the entire mess kit just bring one bowl, pretty much just stick to the necessities.
On the way down we ran into some guys heading back up. They gave us some great advice. They told us we should have plenty of water and make sure we came back on the right trail. It turned out that they had smoked a bowl before they headed out at 5am and they had gotten lost on the wrong trail for a while. So the joke of the trip was "woah, you can't get out of the grand canyon by getting high, you need gain elevation dude."
Surprise valley was a lot of fun to hike through, not. It was like surprise, there's no shade. Or surprise you're going to die here. It was really hot there and the switchbacks just above surprise valley are brutal and seem like they never end.
Surprise Valley

After the surprise valley we eventually made it to deer spring which was a wish come true. The delicious spring water was much better than the warm water we were carrying.
Deer Spring

The creek by the campground was very nice as well. We cooled down our core body temperature by playing a little bit in it.
Deer Creek

We got to the camp at about 8pm so it took us a lot longer than we had expected. As such, we decided to put the overnight permit we got to use and we stayed the night.

Deer Creek Canyon

The next day we went out to go through the slot.
Deer Creek Canyon

This could have been one of the most enjoyable canyons I've been through. There was water throughout the whole canyon and deep enough in parts to need to swim. But the temperature was great. We mostly used one of the 30m ropes we brought for all the shorter drops. We got to a longer one where we used the 60m but a 30 can be used, you just have to down climb or jump off into a pool the follows right after. There are rocks though, so you have to have someone check the area before you jump into it. Sorry we don't have any pictures from inside the canyon but the waterproof film camera we had really wasn't waterproof.

Deer Creek Falls
Rappelling down deer creek falls
The last repel is simply amazing. 180 ft drop down deer creek falls. We used the 60m rope for the one side then the two 30m for the other side to act as a pull rope. The first 50 ft or so we were repelling alongside the waterfall but after that we just got pounded by the falling water. At times it was a little difficult to breath. I actually lost my shoe and almost a sock going down. The water really hits you hard. Especially towards the bottom. I decided to just let the water take me down. So I didn't stop myself on the repel and just flew down the last 75 ft or so. Fortunately, I found my shoe at the bottom washed up on the shore. The plan was to do it three times because it is pretty short but setting up the rope makes it take a little longer and going down that water fall, how do I put it, well it takes you out of fun mode and puts you in survival mode. So, we decided once was enough. As we were hiking back up we saw some rafts on the Colorado river stop at the falls so we decided that would be a great way to do the canyon. That way we could carry all the gear we wanted and not have to hike it in and out.

The hike out

When we got back to camp some other people had arrived and notified us that critters, most likely crows had gotten into one of our packs. They ate pretty much all of his food. They also said that crows had gotten into a stash of their own as well. So, be prepared for that. Back at the campground we laid in the deer creek and just kept ourselves cool and rested. At about 6 pm we packed up and headed to the deer spring to fill up our water and rest some more. At 8 pm is started to rain so we decided to take off. The rain was quite refreshing, unfortunately it didn't last very long and we were soon sweating quite profusely. We kept a pretty good pace all the way to surprise valley then we hit the switchbacks to get out of surprise valley. Only this time we had semi-damp ropes, yay. Long story short, we slowly made it out of the canyon taking breaks every once and a while. So, we started at about 8 pm, but we didn't get to the rim until about 4 am. It was a long night.



Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-1 of 1

wvs - Jun 2, 2007 12:41 am - Hasn't voted

Nice story, beautiful pictures

A couple years ago I hiked rim to rim in one day on the Kaibab/Bright Angel trails, and the whole day gazed longingly at the cliffs wondering how climbable they might be.

Viewing: 1-1 of 1

Deer Creek Trip

Trip Report
7 Images 1 Comments


MyTopo Map Nearby Trip Reports Interactive Map Trip Reports in Arizona